November 18, 2019

SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations Issues Risk Alert to Provide Observations from Examinations of Investment Companies and Observations from Money Market Fund and Target Date Fund Examination Initiatives

On November 7, 2019, the staff of the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (staff) issued a risk alert (Risk Alert) on the most frequently cited deficiencies and weaknesses that the staff has observed in recent examinations of registered investment companies. The Risk Alert also provides staff observations from national examination initiatives relating to money market funds and target date funds.

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October 23, 2019

SEC Staff Issues Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Disclosure of Certain Financial Conflicts Related to Investment Adviser Compensation

On October 18, 2019, the SEC staff issued frequently asked questions (FAQ) about required disclosures of conflicts related to compensation advisers receive, such as 12b-1 fees and revenue sharing, for recommending certain investment products. In the FAQ, the staff of the Division of Investment Management discusses…

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October 23, 2019

SEC Proposes Amendments to Exemptive Applications Procedures

On October 18, 2019, the SEC proposed rule amendments to establish an expedited review procedure for exemptive applications under the Investment Company Act of 1940 that are substantially identical to recent precedent, as well as a new informal internal procedure for applications that would not qualify for the new expedited…

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October 1, 2019

SEC Orders an Additional 16 Self-Reporting Advisory Firms to Pay Nearly $10 Million to Investors

On September 30, 2019, the SEC announced it settled charges against 17 investment advisers for disclosure failures regarding their mutual fund share class selection practices. The firms include 16 advisers that self-reported as part of the Division of Enforcement’s Share Class Selection Disclosure Initiative (Initiative) and one adviser that did…

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September 23, 2019

Advisers Fined $5 Million for Disclosure and Compliance Violations Related to Securities Lending and Unreimbursed Tax Expenses for Mutual Fund Clients

On September 16, 2019, the SEC issued a settled order describing violations of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (“Advisers Act”) and rules thereunder by two registered advisers for undisclosed conflicts of interest and misleading disclosures relating to certain securities lending practices, and misleading disclosures and deficient policies and procedures…

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September 5, 2019

SEC Continues to Pursue Share Class Selection Cases

Two separate complaints filed last month against Cetera Advisors, LLC (“Cetera”) and Commonwealth Financial Network (“Commonwealth”) show that the SEC is still pursuing intermediaries for conflicts of interest and related violations related to fund share class selection. The complaints against Cetera and…

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August 30, 2019

SEC Provides Guidance on Proxy Voting By Registered Investment Advisers

On August 21, 2019, the Securities and Exchange Commission issued guidance (Guidance) on the proxy voting and disclosure responsibilities of registered investment advisers under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended. The Guidance discusses, among other matters, the ability of investment advisers to establish a variety of different voting…

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July 23, 2019

SEC Staff Issues No-Action Letter Providing Relief for Multi-Manager Funds with Respect to Shareholder Approval Requirement for Affiliated Sub-Advisers

On July 9, 2019, the SEC staff granted no-action relief under Section 15(a) of the Investment Company Act of 1940 and certain disclosure requirements, which relief provides additional flexibility to multi-manager funds and investment advisers operating under an existing multi-manager exemptive order, without having to seek amendments to their current…

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July 23, 2019

SEC Adopts Amendments to Auditor Independence Rules Regarding Loans

On June 18, 2019, the SEC adopted amendments to its auditor independence rules that change the analysis used to determine whether an auditor is independent when it has a lending relationship with certain shareholders of an audit client during an audit or professional engagement period. The amendments help to address…

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July 23, 2019

ICI Submits Comment Letter to SEC Recommending Ways to Improve the Proxy Voting System

In connection with the Proxy Roundtable hosted by the SEC in November 2018, on June 11, 2019, the Investment Company Institute (ICI) submitted additional recommendations for improving the proxy system for funds and shareholders. In its comment letter, the ICI described aspects of the proxy process that have proved to…

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